If not you, it is your poor kid, or your dear husband. They may be pale and sweaty, green around the gills and, God forbid, complaining about it all the while. The lurching, rolling and pitching of the ship can overwhelm anyone, even seasoned travelers.
If left unchecked, motion sickness can spread to you and others in your party, putting a damper on an otherwise perfect vacation cruise. Those who watch in sympathy often take on symptoms of motion sickness themselves. The best way to avoid this is preventive care. Rather than pop a pill or wear a patch, consider these natural remedies for your ailing family.
Be sure to get plenty of sleep the night before your trip. You are much more likely to get sick if you are tired. You should also be careful to eat light, easily digested foods. Soda crackers are commonly recommended as well as ginger, chamomile or peppermint teas. Do not eat too much or too little since an uncomfortable stomach can contribute to motion sickness.
Think ahead about the unpleasant smells that can accompany an ocean bound trip. Diesel fumes or stale cabin air can make vertigo worse. Stay in the open fresh air if possible. Otherwise, consider bringing an aromatherapy spray with you made of lemon, cedarwood, dill and lavender essential oils. The refreshing scent will help you avoid the nausea that comes with unpleasant smells.
If you are prone to seasickness, remember that it originates in your head. When your inner ear and your eyes receive conflicting signals, nausea, sweating and eventually vomiting are the results. While your inner ear may find balance, if your eyes are receiving signals of motion, you are more likely to get sick. Choose a still focal point in the sky, rather than the horizon or onboard the ship.
Try to keep your head still against the seat. You may be tempted to lean forward and look at your feet when you are not feeling well, but this will only make your nausea worse. While it is helpful to keep your mind off your dizziness, reading is not the way to go because it forces you to look down. Consider traveling at night to reduce the conflicting motion signals your eyes see during the daylight hours.
Because seasickness manifests differently in everyone, recognize the signs that are particular to you. At the first sign of sickness, breathe deeply and stay relaxed. Find a diverting activity. If you can control your early symptoms, you are much less likely to worsen and eventually vomit.
If preventive measures fail, you still have options. Ginger is the most recommended natural cure for seasickness, but evidence of its effectiveness is conflicting. Some studies show no difference over placebo, others show it to be more effective than over-the-counter medications. Ginger has been proven to reduce stomach acids and may help with uncomfortable stomach symptoms that worsen your seasickness, but there is little evidence that it will prevent or cure the malady.
You may have seen those wristbands with a small plastic white dot on them at the pharmacy. These are acupressure bands that, when positioned about an inch and a half above the inside of your wrist, will help some people overcome motion sickness. The bands are based on ancient Chinese medical traditions and put pressure on the “pericardium 6” (P6) acupressure point. You could try pressing on this point without the bands, but the bands are generally more convenient, leaving your hands free.
These remedies can go a long way in helping you to feel better and enjoy the lovely cruise you have been looking forward to for so long.